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Stool


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Feeding a Bland Diet

If your dog has diarrhea again at the next bowel movement, try changing to a bland diet temporarily. To prepare a bland diet, boil unseasoned chicken breast with plain white rice OR ground low-fat meat with plain white rice. Drain off any residual fat after cooking. Don't add salt or seasoning. Feed your dog the bland diet until the next day. If the diarrhea begins to improve, your dog has a good appetite, and there's no vomiting, you can start to gradually add your dog's normal food to the bland diet mixture. ​Call your vet if diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours.

As you likely know, diarrhea cannot be entirely prevented. Preventive measures related to your dog's diet are your best bet to guard against diarrhea. Avoid table scraps, human food, and letting your dog eat foreign objects or materials outdoors. All of these can cause digestive issues and generally wreak havoc on a dog's gastrointestinal system.


Stool - pets

Why have you been asked to bring a Fecal (Stool) Sample?
Stool samples are used to test your pet for intestinal parasites which may be harmful to your pet and in some cases may be contagious to humans. By bringing an adequate, fresh sample you will allow us to run a fecal test by flotation to detect parasites and assure you of your pet's health. For more information on specific parasites in dogs and cats visit The Companion Animal Parasite Council or the VIN Search Library.

How often do you need to bring a sample for testing?
We recommend fecal testing every 2-3 weeks for puppies/kittens until they are 16-20 weeks of age. Adult pets should be tested every 6 months. These time frames correspond to times that your pet needs to come in for a wellness examination and vaccination, so typically you will just need to bring a sample for those appointments.

We also need a sample at the time of your appointment if your pet is having intestinal problems such as diarrhea or vomiting.

Obtaining a Fecal (Stool) Sample from Your Pet:

  • Samples must be FRESH (still soft and moist) within the last 4-6 hours
  • Use a ziplock baggie turned inside out over your hand, or a disposable utensil, to collect a sample into a ziplock baggie. The sample should be approximately the size of a sugar cube, or 1/2 teaspoon
  • Make sure the bag is completely sealed.
  • Store the sample in the fridge if it will be more than a few hours before you can bring it to the hospital.

NOTE: If you have multiple cats using the same litter box or outdoor dogs using the same yard, please collect a small piece from 3 different representative specimens.


Noticing blood in your dog's stool is bound to be worrying, and could be a sign of a serious health problem.

Whenever you see blood in your pet's stool it's a good idea to call your regular vet. The bigger question is whether blood in your dog's stool is actually an emergency that requires a trip to the closest emergency veterinary hospital.

Puppies

If you have a young puppy with blood in their stool, visit your vet immediately! Parvovirus is common in unvaccinated pups and can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Call your regular vet within normal office hours, or visit our Memphis emergency animal clinic after hours.

Assess Your Dog's Overall Health

Seems Normal

If your dog has blood in their stool but otherwise seems happy, is eating well and behaving normally, it's a good idea to call your regular vet to let them know, and ask for advice. Your regular vet will be able to assess the urgency of the situation and let you know whether it's a good idea to bring your pet into the office for an examination.

Seems Unwell

If you've noticed blood in your dog's stool and your dog also vomiting, refusing to eat, and looking unwell, it's time for an immediate trip to the vet. During normal business hours contact your regular vet and book an emergency appointment, after hours you should call your emergency vet.

Assess Your Dog's Stool

Take a moment to examine your dog's stool before heading to the vet. Your vet will be able to diagnose your dog's condition more quickly if you are able to provide an accurate description of your dog's stool. When it comes to blood in your dog's stool, there are two distinct types:

Hematochezia

Hematochezia is bright red blood or fresh-looking blood in dog stool which stems from the lower digestive tract or colon. Hematocheza may appear on a firm formed stool or in diarrhea. The distinctive bright red color of hematochezia indicates that the blood comes from the lower part of the digestive tract and has only traveled a short distance through the dog's body.

Common causes of hematochezia include viral diarrheas, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.

Melena

This blood has been digested or swallowed, typically indicating a problem in the upper digestive tract. Melena results in a black inky stool that can be jelly like in consistency. Diarrhea is not common with melena, the stool is usually formed.

Common causes of melena include stomach inflammation, stomach ulcers, and cancer.

Possible Causes of Blood in Stool

It's important to note that a red stool may not indicate blood at all. If your dog has eaten a red nonfood item such as a crayon or lipstick, they could pass a red stool. Red icing and cakes may also have this effect on your dog's stool,

Streaks of bright red blood in your dog's stool could be caused by an infection or injury to your dog's sensitive rectal area, such as a ruptured anal sac.

Other causes of blood in stool include:

  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Parvovirus
  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HG)
  • Cancer

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.


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